Google looking at wireless charging for autonomous cars 0

Not content with just making their cars driverless, Google are looking at making their cars plugless.

With autonomous driving the phrase on every industry insider’s lips at the moment, Google are leading the charge in developing a sustainable, practical and very viable plan to ensure driverless technology does not remain a hypothetical. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, have revealed their plans to test wireless charging systems for their driverless car models in papers filed with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC).

Image: Google

Image: Google

Initially just set to be built around Google’s headquarters in California, the wireless pads are the newest development in the technology that is expected to revolutionise the automobile industry. We have previously reported how driverless cars are being tested in cities all over the world – with Greenwich being the closest to home and newest announced – and the UK government has contributed a massive £20 million in testing and advancing the technology, but one of the biggest criticisms repeatedly brought up is the durability of the vehicles. Charging stations, after all, are not ubiquitous sights even now and Sod’s law would most likely come into play and ensure that your car decides to run out of juice in the middle of nowhere.

The capability to wirelessly charge the car when it is parked, for example, is the first steps in opening the autonomous vehicle market up to a limitless audience. It is fair to assume that wireless charging is the first step in establishing some kind of infrastructure that allows charging as they drive. To that end, CEO of Momentum Dynamics – the company that installed one of Google’s wireless charging pads – Andy Daga alleged that they are capable already of recharging electric bus batteries in a matter of minutes, allowing them to run for 24 hours at a time. There have been reports that Google are not the only company making this a reality, with BMW testing wireless charging on their i3 and i8 models. It is important to note though that there is yet to be a clear date in which mass produced, wirelessly charged cars can be put into production.

Driverless cars are most definitely on their way with everyone throwing what money and brainpower they can at establishing their own share of the burgeoning market, we just hope that wireless charging is sharing a lane with the autonomous software; we don’t want to be bogged down by plugs and wires on our spontaneous road trips. And we definitely don’t want to have to push a flat car to the nearest charging station – we don’t have the upper body strength for it to be honest.